In Memory


Let us constantly pray for our own salvation and that of all the dear Sisters, indeed, for all people, that we may live and die piously and attain the beautiful heaven.

St. Katharina to Sister Fausta, December 21, 1892
 

Many people ask where a Sister is buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery so while they are visiting The Center at Donaldson, they can pay their respects. Click here for an alphabetical listing of Sisters and where they are buried. A map of the cemetery explains blocks/rows/plots.

 Rita

January 14, 1941 - September 25, 2020

Rita T. Nordhaus, age 79, of Germantown, passed away Friday, September 25, 2020 at her home.

She was born January 14, 1941 in Trenton, the daughter of the late Henry and Elizabeth Nordman, Fischer. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Rev. Henry J Fischer; and brothers-in-law, Larry Theising, Von Wheeler, and Arlo Millican. Surviving are her husband Franklin Nordhaus of Germantown, whom she married October 12, 1965. Rita was the mother of three and grandmother of three.

Rita formerly worked at Germantown Trust and Savings Bank in Bartelso and Community Bank of Trenton. She was a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church and Altar Sodality in Germantown, Mater Dei Mothers and Friends, former religion teacher, Girl Scout Leader, and Boy Scout Den Mother. In addition, Rita volunteered at Aviston Countryside Manor; was the dining room hostess at the church picnic for many years; and was an avid blood donor. She enjoyed playing cards, traveling, playing jokes on her family at Christmas, going to her grandchildren’s sporting events, and spending time with her family. Per her fellow PHJC Associate and friend, Kit Timmerman, Rita was always an optimist, and she spent much time praying. She said Rita loved going out to eat with friends, especially a group of friends that all attended Ancilla Domini. This year Rita was honored for her 10th anniversary as a PHJC Associate.

Memorial Mass was held September 30, 2020 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Germantown with Rev. Adrian Fischer and Rev. James Buerster concelebrating. Interment followed in St. Boniface Cemetery, Germantown.

In Memory of Sister Agnes Muehlenfeld, PHJC

Monday, 11 January 2021 12:03

Sister Agnes Muehlenfeld (Joan), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died on January 7, 2021 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Quincy, Illinois on June 17, 1928 to Arthur and Caecilia (Broemmel) who preceded her in death along with her brothers James, Arthur and Joseph and her sisters Virginia Muehlenfeld, Rita Schulte and Milly Bruce. Sister was the sixth of seven children.

Sister Agnes entered the Poor Handmaids at the age of 18 in 1946. She professed her vows on June 25, 1949. Her ministry included time in Gary, IN and Milwaukee, WI. In both of these missions, she was a house Sister and cared for the needs of the Sisters who lived there. Sister’s longest ministry for 50 years was at the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson, IN. The Sisters lovingly recall that part of her ministry consisted in playing jokes on people. She considered this as her “hobby.” Sister lived her life of innocent fun, but Sister felt the favorite part of being a sister was the service she was able to offer to God for many years and the great graces she received in that service.

She officially retired on July 4, 2017 when she moved to the Catherine Kasper Home.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center of Donaldson, IN on Friday, January 15, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 am EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am EST: www.poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or on www.poorhandmaids.org.

In Memory of Sister Margaret Urban, PHJC

Monday, 11 January 2021 10:23

Sister Margaret Urban (formerly Sister Raymond), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ (PHJC) died on January 5, 2021 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Wanlock, Iowa to Thomas and Mary (Slahta) who preceded her in death along with her brothers Bill, Thomas and Frank McEllis and her sisters Leona Vilianoff and Marie Spencer. She was the oldest of 6 children. Sister Margaret is survived by several nieces.

Sister Margaret entered the Poor Handmaid Community on December 1, 1942 taking the name Sister Raymond and professed her vows on June 25, 1945.

Sister Margaret received her B.A. from Alverno College Milwaukee WI and her Master’s degree from St. Mary College Winona MN. She was a Teacher/Principal for her initial years in ministry. She ministered at St. Augustine Chicago IL; St. Joseph Mishawaka IN; Angel Guardian Orphanage Chicago IL; St. Boniface Edwardsville IL; St. Monica Mishawaka IN; and St. Mary’s East Chicago IN. In 1987 she joined the community at St. Catherine of Siena Convent and for 18 years she provided Parish Ministry specifically to shut-ins. In 2005 she moved to the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson IN and provided community service. Sister was a witty conversationalist and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was an endearing friend and advocate for the elderly. Most especially Sister enjoyed her moments spending time before the Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Margaret lived for 2 years at Catherine’s Cottage and in 2015 she moved to the Catherine Kasper Home at the Center of Donaldson, IN.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center of Donaldson, IN on Monday, January 11, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am EST: www.poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or on www.poorhandmaids.org.

In Memory of Sister Julia Barry, PHJC

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:16

Sister Julia Barry (Catherine), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ (PHJC) died on November 23, 2020 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was 95 years of age.

Sister was born in Belleville, IL to Patrick and Julia (Geehan) who preceded her in death along with her only sibling, Sister Christine Barry PHJC. Her parents were born in Ireland. Sister is survived by very special cousins.

Sister Julia entered the Poor Handmaid Community on September 8, 1943 and she professed her vows on June 25, 1946. On the occasion of her 70th Jubilee sister stated: “As I reflect on my life, I am grateful for the 70 years of my vowed life as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ. Seventy years ago, I did not realize the journey God had for me, or the plan of ministry He had for me. Now after many years of living in Community, I would gladly do it all over again.”

Sister Julia ministered in a variety of ways over the years, including homemaker, childcare, parish ministry, care for the elderly and community service. Places of ministry included St. Henry, Chicago IL; Angel Guardian Orphanage, Chicago IL; St. Vincent Villa, Fort Wayne IN; St. John Orphanage Belleville IL; St. Boniface Edwardsville IL; St. Mary Edwardsville IL; St. Augustine Chicago IL; Holy Angels School Gary IN; and 24 years of community service at the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson, IN.

She officially retired to Catherine Kasper Home in September 2016 at the Center in Donaldson, IN.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel Friday, November 27, 2020 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed at: www.poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or on www.poorhandmaids.org.

In Memory of Sister Conrad Kirchhoff, PHJC

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 11:17

Sister Conrad Kirchhoff (Margaret), PHJC passed away on March 15, 2020 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana.

Sister Conrad was born in Detroit, Michigan to John Henry and Wilhelmine (Schmitt) Kirchhofff who preceded her in death along with her brothers Francis, John and Edward and her sister, Mary Belisle. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ Community as a postulant on December 13, 1943. She professed her first vows on June 25, 1946 and celebrated 70 years as a Poor Handmaid Sister in 2016. Sister Conrad graduated from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Theology and received her Masters of Science in Education from St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1965.

From 1945 until 1969 Sister was a teacher and principal in Chicago (St. Henry School), Fort Wayne, Indiana (St. Vincent Villa) and Belleville, Illinois (St. Mary School). From 1969-1973 she ministered as the PHJC Director of novices. She insisted her ministry working with young women of the 60’s and 70’s gave her the best life experience. Sister Conrad was elected Provincial of the Poor Handmaid’s American Province in 1973 and served until 1979. She returned to teaching in 1979 in Mishawaka, Indiana (St. Joseph School). She continued Leadership in the Poor Handmaid Community as a General Councilor in Dernbach, Germany from 1983-1989. After a short sabbatical, Sister became the Vice President of Mission Effectiveness at St. Joseph Medical Center in Fort Wayne (1990-2003) where she commented that she was the learner even if she was the one in charge. Upon her departure from St. Joseph Hospital Director of Nursing commented, “Sister Conrad always says that we are the heart and the hands, and the hug of the healing Christ. Sr. Conrad embodies that philosophy every day!” Having completed her ministry at St. Joseph Medical Center, she returned to the Motherhouse of the Poor Handmaids in Donaldson to do volunteer work. She quipped she was a great paper shredder. In 2006 she joined the community at Catherine’s Cottage continuing to help out where she could. Sister Conrad officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2015.

Sister Conrad reflected, “As I look back over the years as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to God, my family and the Poor Handmaid congregation for providing the opportunities to minister in teaching, childcare, leadership, retreat work, etc. They called forth gifts I never realized I had. I’ve had the opportunity to find God in many people, countries, cultures and challenges.”

In 1999 Sister Conrad received the Raymond Rosenberger - Minette Baum Award Foundation. This award recognizes people for their diligent and faithful service with an exempt charitable organization(s) to alleviate human suffering or enhance the quality of life of persons afflicted with illness or injury, or to promote wellness through the prevention of illness, disease or injury.

In 2013, Sister Conrad also received the Healthy City Award for her part in starting the Super Shot Immunization program in Fort Wayne. This program provides low-cost or free immunizations to poor children and adults in Allen County.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel Friday, March 20 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. EDT. The Funeral Liturgy will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. EDT and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. A public Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or online at www.poorhandmaids.org.

In Memory of Sister Kate Kuenstler, PHJC

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 10:46

Sister Mary Kathleen Kuenstler (Sister Kate) Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ (PHJC), died on October 28, 2019 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. 
       
Sister was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 21, 1949 and she was adopted by Lawrence Kuenstler and Lorraine (Buerster) Kuenstler who preceded her in death. Her siblings include her brother, Matthew (Deb) and her sister, Agnes Schoultz.
      
Sister Kate’s interest in the Poor Handmaid Community began as a farm girl in Illinois at the Holy Cross Parish, where she was introduced to the Poor Handmaids’ charism by her teachers. Sister Kate entered the Poor Handmaids August 25, 1967 and professed her vows on August 5, 1970. 
       
She received her B.S. in Education from St. Joseph College in East Chicago, Indiana, and began her first ministry in education as an elementary teacher for almost ten years at schools in Indiana and Minnesota. Sister Kate went on to receive her M.A. degree in Religious Education and ministered as a Director of Education and a Diocesan Consultant in the Springfield, Illinois diocese and Belleville, Illinois diocese. 
       
Sister Kate pursued Canon Law and in 1992 she received her J.C.L. (Licentiate in Canon Law) and her J.C.D. (Doctorate in Canon Law) from St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University, Rome, Italy.
       
Her career in Canon Law ministry began as a Judge in Marriage Tribunal. Later, she initiated her own private practice as an independent Canon Lawyer specifically focused on being an Advocate for the Laity. Sister Kate’s practice covered many states and countries, including Canada and Australia.
       
“Sister Kate was a tireless defender of the canonical rights of lay people in the Church, especially the rights of parishioners. Her creative advocacy changed Vatican policy from automatically accepting US bishops’ decisions to close and sell vibrant churches to one that preserves churches as worship sites instead,” said Sister Chris Schenk, CSJ, cofounder of Future Church.
       
Following an unexpected illness, Sister Kate moved to Catherine’s Cottage in January 2019 and then to the Catherine Kasper Home in May 2019.
       
Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home at The Center at Donaldson on Friday, November 1, 2019 beginning at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). A Prayer Service will be held the same evening 7:00 p.m.
       
Funeral Liturgy will be held in the Catherine Kasper Home Chapel at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, at The Center at Donaldson.
       
Memorial contributions can be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or online at www.poorhandmaids.org.

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